A Clark County principal is jumping into race to replace Rep. Ruben Kihuen, focusing his campaign on education, energy and equity.
John Anzalone, 41, a Democrat and longtime Las Vegas resident, said he hopes to use his 18 years of experience in the school district to give back to the community. Anzalone, principal at Sierra Vista High School, started in the district in 2000 as a middle school teacher.
This is his first foray into politics.
“I’m kind of shooting for the stars pretty early,” he said. “So many people have pushed me into doing this, I finally just said I think now is the time I’ll give it a shot.”
The 4th Congressional District includes North Las Vegas, Mesquite and Pahrump. Kihuen, a 37-year-old Democrat in his first term, said last month he will not run for re-election after he was accused of sexually harassing several women.
On education, Anzalone said he would seek a solution to Clark County’s teacher shortage by focusing on recruiting and supporting teachers after they’re hired. He said he isn’t against school choice but doesn’t like when the issue is used to villainize public education.
“I definitely like families to have choice, but I also think they need to take a very, very hard look at their zoned school or their public school first,” he said.
When it comes to energy, Anzalone wants to do a better job educating the public about renewable sources of energy.
With a push from his students, Anzalone was able to install LED lighting at his school. He says utility bills have dropped from $10,000 a month to $3,400.
“I want to be a champion for clean energy and renewable energy because I’ve seen what it can do on a big level,” he said.
The final cornerstone of his campaign is equity. That again comes down to education, he said. As a principal, he’s seen a number of nonprofit organizations that are underutilized to ensure that students of all backgrounds receive a quality education.
Anzalone and his wife, a speech pathologist in the school district, have a son and two daughters. Anzalone has lived in Las Vegas since he was 12 and graduated from Chaparral High School before attending UNLV. He’s served on a number of boards, including as the secretary of the administrator’s union.